News & Media

September 16, 2014



DeGrand Wins 2014 Toyo Tires F1600 A Class Championship



 
Tristan DeGrand, a vibrant 18 year old rising open wheel racing star from St. Louis, Missouri, was crowned as the 2014 Toyo Tires F1600 Championship A-Class champion Sunday at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park at the BEMC Indian Summer Races.  Tristan, driver of the No. 93 Exclusive Autosport / Spectrum / Sparco / Pro Am Golf / Exclusive Management Inc. / Honda Racing HPD F1600 re-wrote the Canadian F1600 record books finishing the season with an astounding 10 wins and eight pole positions in 12 races and collected and unprecedented 1,128 points.  DeGrand’s championship season makes it a back-to-back championship effort by Exclusive Autosport, the North American Spectrum factory team.  

DeGrand’s record breaking season began earlier this year with an exceptional seven wins in a row.  A heart breaking racing incident at the Honda Indy Toronto in July  broke the win streak, however DeGrand rebounded by capturing back-to-back wins at Calabogie Motorsports Park in August.  

In the season finale this past weekend DeGrand was looking to not only finish the season with another pair of wins, but to  also take the prestigious Can-Am Cup south of the boarder for the first time.  Starting from the pole position, DeGrand got a great start on the wet track and maintained the lead ahead of Chase Pelletier.  A first lap incident sent another competitor into the wall in the first corner and brought out an early full course yellow.  The field went back to green a few laps later with DeGrand leading the field once again.  With clear track ahead, DeGrand started to build his lead over the charging field behind him.  As the track started to dry out, DeGrand’s lead started to decrease.  Zacharie Robichon started to pull up behind DeGrand as the two competitors came up on lapped traffic.  DeGrand took a defensive line on the last corner of the last lap. Robichon dove underneath DeGrand to come up beside him. DeGrand hit a puddle causing a bit of wheel spin.  A drag race to the finish line between Robichon and DeGrand ensued. DeGrand took the checkered flag one thousandth of a second behind Robichon.  

Despite taking a second place the day before, DeGrand knew he mathematically had the championship locked up.  He however was not complacent and wanted to finish the season on a high note.  He qualified in third position for the second race of the weekend.  It didn’t take long before DeGrand moved into the lead, a position he has been pretty comfortable with this season.  An intense battle was going on behind DeGrand.  He watched in his mirrors as he meticulously made his way around the 10-turn, 3.957 km road course. He took the checkered flag in the lead to wrap up the season and the 2014 A-Class Championship.  

DeGrand’s season is not over just yet, he will be making another trip across the boarder to race at the season finale of the Toyo Tires Formula Tour 1600 Championship in Mont Tremblant Quebec September  25-28 where he is leading the Pro Class championship and looking to capture his second championship of the season.  DeGrand is also a Team USA Scholarship finalist and is awaiting word on who the 2014 team USA Scholarship recipient will be. 

Tristan DeGrand, No. 93 Exclusive Autosport / Spectrum / Sparco / Exclusive Management Inc. / Pro Am Golf / Honda Racing HPD

“This year has been nothing short of a dream.  Having won as many races as we did feels great! I knew from the start of the year that we had the potential to produce these results so to go out and do it is gratifying.  I am extremely happy with myself and the team on how we handled all the pressure throughout the year.  There was a huge target on our back because we were the ones to beat.  I think that racing in Canada was the best place for me to really develop as a driver.  The amount of seat time and time I was able to spend with my engineer taught me so much about the car racing and the technical part of the sport.  I can’t wait for what 2015 has in store for me!”  said an ecstatic Tristan DeGrand.  

Michael Duncalfe, Team Owner Exclusive Autosport 

“What an incredible year for Tristan and the Exclusive Autosport team. I am so proud of everything we have been able to accomplish together this season.  Tristan has done an incredible job leading this EA team to its second consecutive Toyo Tires F1600 Championship.  His work ethic on and off track is second to none.  He wants to win, not just the races but each and every session.  His intensity and desire to win pushes the entire team to be better each and every time we hit the track.  Eight poles and ten wins in 12 races is an amazing feat in such a competitive series where the grids are on average 24 (or more) cars deep.  I can’t praise Tristan enough for the incredible job he has done all year.  We haven’t had much time to celebrate as our focus is firmly planted on the final round of the Toyo Tires Formula Tour 1600 Championship in two weeks at Circuit Mont Tremblant in Mont Tremblant, Quebec where we are working to secure another back-to-back championship for the team with Tristan.”

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